Don't count on the stock market to grow your nest egg. If you want enough money for retirement, slash spending and sock away every penny you can. Saving money will help compensate for dreary returns on other investments.

As you reduce spending and save more money, you also reduce the amount you need in retirement. If you save 20 percent of your income, you'll be better off than someone who saves just 5 percent and has a more lavish lifestyle. When you retire, you won't need as big a nest egg to sustain your current standard of living.

Investment advisors at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, remind you that the 2001 tax act provides great opportunities for tax-favored savings. You can contribute $3,000 a year to an IRA this year and $11,000 in a 401(k). Those over 50 can invest more, and all maximums rise through 2006.

It is estimated that families headed by 50- to 61-year-olds had a median net worth of under $128,000 last year; much of which was home equity. Ignoring that, they had enough invested to generate about $3,500 in annual retirement income. Many people are better off, but some are much worse off.